MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s new wrestling coach built a reputation as a top recruiter at Missouri, Oklahoma and Penn State, and now he’s aiming to build the Mountaineers program into a Big 12 force.
Sammie Henson on Monday became WVU’s eighth wrestling coach, and its first new one in 36 years, following Craig Turnbull’s contentious firing in March.
A 17-year career assistant who had stops that included Cal Poly, Nebraska and Army, Henson said of his new job: “I look for me and my family to be here a long, long time.”
Henson was a Big Eight champion and All-American for Missouri in 1991 before transferring to Clemson, where he became a two-time NCAA champ and compiled a 71-0 record. He was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 2000.
“In addition to his record on the mat as a competitor and coach, two things really stood out to me about Sammie,” said West Virginia athletics director Oliver Luck. “First, he has an excellent record academically during his coaching career and that is important to us provided our recent issues.
“Secondly, at all his stops, Sammie has had a vibrant role in the regional training centers to help amateur wrestlers train at the highest levels. Regional training centers make huge impacts with collegiate and amateur wresters, and we are excited to re-establish the dormant wrestling training center here.”
Watch Monday’s complete news conference above.